Today (1 June 2015), David and I celebrate our second anniversary. Although we can’t spend this day together, we did spend an amazing weekend together, despite some travel-woes for David (sorry, Dave!)
On Saturday Afternoon, we went with Carola and Joe for a bike ride to Dresdrehan Plantation. We started at the end of Williams in Kenner, and road our bikes for 8 miles to the plantation. Right before the plantation, we passed the smelly, misty grain elevators. Our first order of business was to take out our lunch so that we could eat and re-hydrate. So, we did that on a small cement table in front of replica slave houses. David said I over-packed in the morning, but all of the food was eaten before we returned to the cars that afternoon.
After lunch, we went on the tour. For me, the highlight was the blacksmith giving me a mule shoe (when he offered to give it to us for free–I don’t think he expected us to actually take one). We were asking questions about the process involved with making various things, and he was trying to sell us steak turners. But, we walked away with a mule shoe. Visiting the plantation was a neat experience. Neither Dave nor I have been to one before. Some of the stories the guides told us were repetitive (there were 5 guides in the tour), but I probably don’t remember much of anything said, repeated or not.
Oaks at the Plantation
For dinner on Saturday night, we went to Doris, a steakhouse that I discovered when my parents were in town. Due to a slight issue with our seats being given away, we walked across the street to grab a cocktail while we waited for the seats to become available. And, boy, it was worth the wait. Chef remembered me from my last visit to Doris and sent us a special slice of meat for an appetizer. It was as rich as foi gras, and can’t be explained well with words. We chose to have several appetizer (tuna tartare, calamari, and eggplant), as well as two sides (smoked vegetables and truffle french fries). The difficulty came when we had to decide the main course. So, we asked chef, who said he would look in the back for us and let us know what is best tonight (which happened to be the “classified cut”). Every dish that came out was absolutely delicious. My favorite was probably the tuna tartare. The soy pearls + fresh tuna + ginger emulsion combination is a slice of heaven in your mouth. When my niece Peyton was young, she used to dance when she liked the food she was eating. As we sat at the bar enjoying our dinner last night, we were both dancing in our seats.
Having good food is important, but what really puts Doris over the top is the excellent service. Since we sat so close to where the wait staff would pick up their food, we were very familiar faces at the end of the night. In conversation, we learned that one of the employees is from the town next to the one where Dave grew up, and another just moved here from Brookyln (where we will be moving). Small world. They were all so nice to us, and treated us like royalty. The experience of our anniversary dinner was perfect.
Sunday was Oyster fest. Our plans for getting up early and watching the oyster eating contest went by the wayside, but we went out on a hunt for a Bloody Mary. We parked far away and biked to the Hilton, which had bloody marys with a bacon wrapped oyster last year. When we learned that they didn’t have those again this year, we headed towards Daisy Duke’s via street car (completely unnecessary, as it was a 10 minute walk, 30 minute street car ride). But, we had fun. We planned to do take-out, but they had bottomless bloody marys, so we ordered some food to go along with the drinks while we waited for Joe and Carola to join us.
At Oyster fest, we had enough time to get one round of food before it started to downpour. We soon realized that riding our bikes back would not be an option. So, when there was a break in the rain, we all walked back to Carola and Joe’s car, and they drove us to ours. On the ride home through mid-city, I had to change my course of direction several times due to severe flash floods (later I learned that a taxi got stuck in one of the roads that I chose not to take).
Eventually, I did get David to the airport one hour early. Unfortunately his second of two flights was cancelled due to weather and he is in Atlanta now for an unexpectedly long layover. He hasn’t had much luck with traveling recently. Hopefully that will change, as he has quite a few more trips planned for this summer.
EPILOGUE: I went to pick up the bikes after the flooding had subsided. We parked in the garage next to the Hilton (the car valets told us about the bike racks in the garage). So, I arrived to the Hilton and told the valet that I was there to pick up my bikes, and asked if I could just leave my car there for a minute so I can grab them. He told me that I was parked in a loading zone, so I can’t stop there. Instead, he suggested that I park right along the side of the garage … which I realized was a fire lane as I was pulling up.